Call for ‘more bookings and donations’ as Norfolk artist nears end of year-long charity painting challenge

A Norfolk artist painting a memorable picture every day of 2018 has so far helped remember a girl killed in the Manchester Arena bombing and a mum who lost her son to suicide raise awareness of the Samaritans.

Gill Starkie, from Forncett St Mary, is inviting people to choose an image and a date they want to commemorate. She is then painting the image in watercolours, on the chosen day, in return for a minimum donation of £20 to East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH).

“I started this project after meeting a lady who was looking at my paintings,” Gill said. “She remarked, ‘These are lovely, however, my little girl didn’t have any memories. She didn’t live long enough.’ That’s when I researched EACH and I was moved by the way it creates memories for children and families.”

Gill usually paints for between 45 minutes and an hour-and-a-half. She personalises each picture by adding the supporter’s name and a short description of why they chose their date.

She admits doing one a day has been a challenge at times, but sitting on her terrace over summer and overlooking nature helped inspire her creativity.

gill starkie painting

For those who ask for a picture, the trained psychotherapist says it can be a very cathartic exercise.

“Very firmly lodged in my mind is the occasion not too long ago when I sat for hours with a lady talking about her family and recording details of her adult children’s lives. She knew she didn’t have much longer to live and she wanted her children’s birthdays recorded with a watercolour painting, depicting what she remembered of their growing up and the little facets of their personalities, plus a thank you message to each. It was very moving.”

Gill buys the materials she needs to paint herself, meaning she has so far raised some £2,500 for EACH. Any donations of paper or paint would be welcome as she enters the last quarter of 2018.

“I’m delighted to be doing this challenge for EACH,” said Gill. “I feel it’s a privilege to be a little bit involved, to raise awareness and a bit of money to help in a small way. So far I’ve raised almost £2,500, but there’s still three months to go ‘til the end of the year and I need more bookings and donations. I want to make a difference.”

At the end of the year, Gill hopes the collection of images will be printed and bound into a book of thoughts, memories and words, lives captured day by day, page by page.

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Bowls presentation

EACH bowled over by community’s support

The nook appeal has received a boost of £3,310.45 thanks to Cawston Triples League and Reepham Nomads Bowling Club.

Dudley Jones, president of both, chose to support the nook appeal, being run by East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) to raise £10 million for the building of a new Norfolk hospice, as his charity of the year.

Funds were raised at the league’s annual Presidents Day Trophy competition at Cawston Bowling Club and also from a cheese and wine party at Reepham Nomads. The organisation of both events was led by Terry Hardingham.

Tim Jenkins, EACH Norfolk Community Fundraiser, attended the Presidents Day Trophy competition. He said: “We continue to be incredibly humbled by such fantastic support from community organisations all over Norfolk. We’re heading into the final phase of the nook appeal now and it’s great to know we have such backing.”

Building of the new hospice began last November and EACH hopes to have the facility operational by summer 2019.

Attleborough cadets

Cadets who raised £450 for the nook appeal will go again in November

Cadets who packed bags for customers of Attleborough Sainsbury’s have now given £450 to the nook appeal.

Members of the Attleborough Army Cadets were welcomed to the supermarket, also supporting the nook appeal as its charity of the year for 2018/19, one day over summer.

Staff Sergeant Carl Brandwood said: “We’re only too happy to continue raising money for the nook appeal and are looking forward to supporting shoppers again on 24 November.”

The nook appeal is being run by East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) to raise £10 million for the building of a new hospice in Framingham Earl.

Tim Jenkins, EACH Norfolk Community Fundraiser, said: “This is a great example of the sort of community support we need as we head into the final straight, with the nook appeal now at just over £8 million. A big thank you to Carl and all the members of Attleborough Army Cadets for their efforts, as well as customers of Attleborough Sainsbury’s.”

Building of the new hospice began last November and EACH hopes to have the facility operational by summer 2019. For more information go to